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Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz (Illustrations by Sarah McIntyre): Adventures of Riley -- Mission to Madagascar


Crescent Blues Book Views Eaglemont Press (Hardback), ISBN 09748411-2-9

Book: Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz (Illustrations by Sarah McIntyre): Adventures of Riley, Mission to Madagascar
In the Mission to Madagascar leg of Riley's continuing adventure series, nine-year-old Riley flies to Madagascar to help Uncle Max, Aunt Martha and Cousin Alice search for an elusive nocturnal lemur called the "Aye Aye." After hours of traveling to London and on to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, Riley and his relatives set off for the East Central Rain Forest.

En route, Riley learns about Malagasy culture, beginning with breakfast -- kitoza and rice porridge. Colorful sidebars with credited sources share information on baobab trees, hissing cockroaches and Painted Mantella Frogs, etc., Riley learns as his exciting story unfolds. Thankfully, the portrayal of this information does not interrupt or obstruct as much as in Riley's prior picture book adventures.

When his aunt and uncle suffer stomach troubles, Riley and Alice become part of a film expedition seeking the Aye Aye. Information gathered along the way on other unusual Malagasy animals (including the Black-and-White Ruffed Lemur, the Parsons Chameleon and the fossa, Madagascar's largest predator, to name a few) prove fascinating.

The busy, bright and colorful illustrations, which frequently incorporate actual photos of the region into the artwork, give the reader a wonderful sense of place. Certainly, Mission to Madagascar will spark children's interest in the Malagasy Rain Forest and perhaps lead to a better understanding of the people, places and things that share the world with them.

For those seeking additional information, the authors include a glossary at the back of the book. Also attached is a Passport to Riley's World and information on registering a free membership. A portion of the proceeds of the book go to Smithsonian Institution, the Wildlife Conservation Society and World Wildlife Organization -- worthwhile organizations, indeed!

Lynne Marie Pisano

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